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Old 03-25-2009, 07:29 AM   #81
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Brown-bag your lunch to work. A sandwich, an apple, and a bottle of tap water are cheaper than any purchased lunch. Add up the savings over 20 years. I now strap my 20-year-old Igloo Lunchmate lunch box on the back of the motorcycle to take to work.

Ride a motorcycle to work and on other small errands. A fill-up costs $6. Take that, Honda Fits!

Marry an accountant. She's tighter than me.
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:30 AM   #82
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I only feed my kids twice a week!

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Old 03-25-2009, 05:12 PM   #83
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I only feed my kids twice a week!
Jonathan Swift had a much more modest proposal than this!
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:42 PM   #84
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Agreed. I consider yard work, house cleaning, meal prep, minor repairs, most decorating chores, automobile maintenance and those sort of things my part time j*b in RE. Dear Youbet, those comprise my husband's retirement "job" too. He doesn't do car stuff, though (other than washing it).

Winter thermostat: 45 at night and 60 during the day. Eridanus, (elegant handle!) are you not concerned about pipes freezing? We had the thermostat set at 50 degrees once, and ice started coming out of the taps! We keep it at 55 at night now.

My tip is to not buy anything nice. If you buy something nice it makes your other things look bad Oldwoman, you crack me up...it is so true!

Nobody is "poor" if they're healthy and nobody is "rich" if they're unhealthy. Wise words for sure.

Boont, I like your philosophy,except I think you should make a concerted effort to use up your wine since you cannot take it with you
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:48 PM   #85
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1.
2. Buy electric blankets or warming pads for your beds, and turn the heat way way down in the winter. Saves us hundreds of $$ a month and it's cozy and fun, and the cats adore it.
As Khan pointed out, a person's internal thermostat can be re-set until 65 degrees feels downright balmy.
Note the bold. Where do you live, how do you heat your house and what does energy cost? Where I live, it get down to < -40 for a couple of months. In the worst months, my 2500 sq/ft (heated to 20C/70F) house and heated (to +10C/45F) garage costs < $400. If I dropped the house to 50F, it would still be > $300.
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:37 PM   #86
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900 out of 850 possible ?...
Got to get with the program! 850 credit scores are old school. I'm reading from the TransUnion personal Credit Score report:
"Your score and grade are as follows" --Score 921, grade A
"The numerical score ranges from 501 to 990 equaling grade ranges A to F". "Where you Rank" is 90 on a scale of 0 to 100. It then goes on to mention the factors that impacted my score.
1. The available credit on my revolving credit accounts is too low. (They want me to get my credit limits raised).
2. None of your real estate accounts show a credit amount. ( I haven't had a mortgage for about 10 years).
3. The maximum credit amount on your open bank credit card accounts is too low. (Again, get my limits raised).
4. The balances on your open accounts are too high in comparison to their credit limits. (EX: One card I use a lot has a limit of $8000 and I might charge $$2500 in one month).

I always pay the cards off at the end of the month and never carry a balance. I questioned TransUnion on this and they told me that the credit report is just a "snapshot in time" and had the inquirer asked for the report a day later, the result could have been better had I paid off the balance the day before. You cannot convince them otherwise. They agreed with my good credit by paying off the cards in full, but that is how their system is set up. Go figure!

Didn't mean to ramble but thought this information might be useful to someone out there. As I recall, all the credit bureaus were easy to talk to and offered suggestions on how to raise the score. I got copies of all three bureaus, made corrections, called various creditors to close obsolete accounts and made sure they reported to the bureaus. It worked for me.
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:55 PM   #87
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Don't go shopping as a recreational activity.
When at conferences, divide the box lunch into "lunch" (eat now) and "dinner" (pack in conference bag, eat later). Warning: this practice may be harmful to your networking.
Get a water filter for your fridge. Never buy bottled water.
Always use the lowest grade of gas that your car will accept.
Buy everything (including groceries) on one credit card that gives a payback that you want. Mine is frequent flyer points (it cost me $100 to go to Europe last week).
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Old 03-25-2009, 08:58 PM   #88
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I keep it around 75-78 degrees all winter, and save money. My hobby is cutting and splitting my own firewood. This year I heated exclusively with wood. I figure I saved $2k. The newer high efficient wood stoves are amazing. I have the next 3 years wood supply cut, split and stacked. It's like money in the bank.
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:47 PM   #89
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Learn how to do it yourself. Not only are you paying nothing for the work done, you don't have to pay in after-tax $.
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:48 PM   #90
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Got to get with the program! 850 credit scores are old school. I'm reading from the TransUnion personal Credit Score report:
"Your score and grade are as follows" --Score 921, grade A
"The numerical score ranges from 501 to 990 equaling grade ranges A to F". "Where you Rank" is 90 on a scale of 0 to 100. It then goes on to mention the factors that impacted my score.
1. The available credit on my revolving credit accounts is too low. (They want me to get my credit limits raised).
2. None of your real estate accounts show a credit amount. ( I haven't had a mortgage for about 10 years).
3. The maximum credit amount on your open bank credit card accounts is too low. (Again, get my limits raised).
4. The balances on your open accounts are too high in comparison to their credit limits. (EX: One card I use a lot has a limit of $8000 and I might charge $$2500 in one month).

I always pay the cards off at the end of the month and never carry a balance. I questioned TransUnion on this and they told me that the credit report is just a "snapshot in time" and had the inquirer asked for the report a day later, the result could have been better had I paid off the balance the day before. You cannot convince them otherwise. They agreed with my good credit by paying off the cards in full, but that is how their system is set up. Go figure!

Didn't mean to ramble but thought this information might be useful to someone out there. As I recall, all the credit bureaus were easy to talk to and offered suggestions on how to raise the score. I got copies of all three bureaus, made corrections, called various creditors to close obsolete accounts and made sure they reported to the bureaus. It worked for me.
I think they are quoting your VANTAGE score, a thing all 3 bureaus tried to do together. your FICO from TransUnion is likely in the 700's
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:49 PM   #91
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MY BEST TIP: Make it automatic. Auto-deductions into your retirement will work wonders.. you dont miss it as much if it disappears automatically...i swear
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:22 AM   #92
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When you get an idea to buy something expensive wait a week. Often end up deciding the piece of crap older DVD player will suffice for longer, or the older computer can keep going if you add RAM and a new video card, etc.
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:27 PM   #93
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We've pretty much stopped eating out, not to save money so much but for halth/weight loss. Still, we're saving at least $500/month, maybe more. We ate out a lot.

Also, I stopped the trash service. We've been recycling a lot, so we were going to the dump anyway. Plus, they came at like 6 am Friday, and I kept forgetting to put the trash out. So that's $60/month.

Probably our best investment in the new house was putting in Geothermal HVAC. We're paying about half of what our neighbors are in total electricity/gas charges. I talked to a bunch of them at a party a couple weeks ago to find out what they are paying. Our next door neighbors-to-be have started building, but they're going conventional heat pump. Seems penny-wise pound-foolish to me. Good insulation helps a lot too. Our house seems nice and warm at 65 in the winter. We keep it around 72-74 in the summer when we run the AC.
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:51 PM   #94
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I agree with boont - when you can save money through negiotating or getting something at a discount or buying a used car it's a good thing. Doing things yourself instead of contracting out is also good. But recycling paper towels, giving up creature comforts, buying in dollar stores, keeping temps at very high or low levels, never eating out, getting used clothes in thrift shops, etc., do not sound like the type of retirement we are interested in. We were semi-frugal when working, didn't run up a lot of debt and saved what we could. What's the point of retiring if you can't enjoy your freedom? May as well just work as long as possible and live well during that time.

Assuming the average person retiring at 60 has 20 to 25 years to live, maybe 10 to 15 of that in decent health and capable of physical exertion, I just don't understand the point in self-denial. I suppose if you have denied yourself luxuries (or what you consider them to be) pretty much throughout your life, it makes sense to continue - but then what's the point?

Sorry, I just don't understand the extreme level of frugality being recommended by some here.
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:22 PM   #95
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Sorry, I just don't understand the extreme level of frugality being recommended by some here.
restonham, I agree that there is a balance between frugal living in order to retire early and living for the present BOTH during and after w*rk life. Having said that, I believe this thread is an exercise in sharing tips not recommendations. If a particular tip doesn't interest you, by all means reject it.

Some tips do seem a bit extreme - to me. Others might find the trade off to be well worth it.

Also, don't lose sight of the whole concept of this forum. We each have our reasons to want to retire early. Maybe it's rotten work, rotten hours, rotten boss or maybe we just have better things to do with our time. If we pick and choose between ideas we pick up here, maybe we can retire sooner.

Enjoy the different values folks place on their various "luxuries" and also their ways to save. If you disagree with something, pass on by.
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:35 PM   #96
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Just completed one today. We changed our long distance provider from the default telco in our area to another company. We were paying $5.50 a month plus 7-10 cents a minute for state-to-state calls. Now there's no monthly fee and 2.7 cents per minute.

We don't use a lot of long distance, but we should wind up saving $10-15 a month with this.
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Old 03-27-2009, 06:10 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by restonham View Post
I agree with boont - when you can save money through negiotating or getting something at a discount or buying a used car it's a good thing. Doing things yourself instead of contracting out is also good. But recycling paper towels, giving up creature comforts, buying in dollar stores, keeping temps at very high or low levels, never eating out, getting used clothes in thrift shops, etc., do not sound like the type of retirement we are interested in.
Then don't do that.

Quote:
We were semi-frugal when working, didn't run up a lot of debt and saved what we could. What's the point of retiring if you can't enjoy your freedom?
I am enjoying it.

Quote:
May as well just work as long as possible and live well during that time.
I was not living well while working. The stress was (possibly literally) killing me.

Quote:
Assuming the average person retiring at 60 has 20 to 25 years to live, maybe 10 to 15 of that in decent health and capable of physical exertion, I just don't understand the point in self-denial. I suppose if you have denied yourself luxuries (or what you consider them to be) pretty much throughout your life, it makes sense to continue - but then what's the point?
I don't want most of those luxuries.

Quote:
Sorry, I just don't understand the extreme level of frugality being recommended by some here.
I was able to retire early when I realized I was spending less than $25,000/year.

YMMV
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Old 03-27-2009, 06:18 PM   #98
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Hey - I just finished reviewing our 2008 tax return and a huge money saving method became glaringly obvious to me:

Don't pay taxes!

(Just kidding!)

but I can fantasize for a day or two can't i?

Audrey
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Old 03-27-2009, 06:30 PM   #99
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One of the paradoxes in saving money between working versus retired:

A lot of money saving methods require time. Examples are: doing your own chores, cooking your own food, browsing for bargains, taking advantage of travel discounts/specials because your time is flexible, getting plenty of exercise that keeps you healthy. It's a lot easier to take advantage of these opportunities when you are retired.

Also, when you are retired you don't have to spend money on commuting to work and clothes for work.

I just know that when I was working I had so little free time that I had to pay up for a lot of things that I don't have to now.

It's a real catch-22!

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Old 03-27-2009, 07:20 PM   #100
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I think they are quoting your VANTAGE score, a thing all 3 bureaus tried to do together. your FICO from TransUnion is likely in the 700's
I stand corrected. You are indeed right that the credit bureaus publish a credit score that is generated as a joint effort of the three bureaus. I called TransUnion on this and they confirmed that the FICO score is more readily used by creditors. That number can vary because each creditor looks at credit differently and so each develop their own criteria as to what is important. Their own formulas are used and cannot be equated to the Vantage score. However, if you have a good Vantage score, you will probably have a favorable FICO score. At the suggestion of TransUnion I went online at FICO.com and calculated my score using a simplified FICO system. Without spending $40 to get this number I got it free and came up with 805 on the high side. Tops in the FICO method is 850 as someone else pointed out. In so much as my Vantage score if right up there, I decided that my FICO score should lean toward the high side also. I thank you for correcting me as it allowed me to get more involved in the credit rating system. I've been hammering on my son and daughter to get their credit reports corrected.
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